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Embrace the Art of Hygge This Winter—It’s Like Living in a Warm Hug

5 easy ways to add coziness and conviviality to your home

Burning candle rests on two books next to a hot cup of tea on top of a cozy blanket

A hard-to-say (hue-gah) but easy-to-understand way of life, this Danish tradition prioritizes coziness, simplicity and an appreciation for the little things. The custom is becoming popular in North America and it may just be the loveliest lifestyle trend we’ve encountered yet. Here are five easy ways to hygge-ify your home.

1. Get fired up

Candle on a wooden table with an antler behind it 

Danes are reportedly Europe’s leaders in candle consumption, burning nearly six kilograms per person annually. Take a page from their collective mindset and buy yourself a candle (or 10) and allow the warm glow to chase away any winter gloom.

2. Add Scandinavian-inspired textiles

Woman carrying white, pink and black sweaters stacked in her hands 

Warm and comfortable are the key words here. Outfit your home with knit blankets, soft pillows, maybe even some flannel sheets; not only are they soft to the touch, they’ll also add a sense of simple luxury.

3. Serve some comfort food

Three bowls of garnished yellow soup 

Think soups, stews and other simple-but-hearty fare. If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the perfect time to expand your culinary horizons by trying traditional Danish recipes. We’re partial to ebelskivers, tiny doughnuts that can be filled with lingonberry jam or Nutella. But we wouldn’t pass up glögg (mulled wine), Swedish meatballs or smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches that often feature smoked fish and pickled veggies.

4. Stick to quiet activities

Stack of books and notebooks with a pink mug, resting on a busy desk 

In stark opposition to more energetic winter endeavours, like skiing or skating, hygge is more about quiet indoor pastimes. Read a book, play a board game, knit, journal or go really old school and write a letter.

5. Invite friends or family over

Man sits with a mug on his knee as a woman sits holding a mug with a pug on her lap outside on a cozy patio 

Togetherness is one of the most important parts of hygge. But that doesn’t mean you need to plan an elaborate dinner party. Instead, opt for low-key hangouts where you can just enjoy one another’s company.

Ready to head into the cold?

Try one of these outdoor spas, another adopted Scandinavian tradition. Or test your knowledge about Canadian winters with our cool quiz.

Image credit: iStock.com/Mkovalevskaya